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It's Clever, But Is It Art?

June 3 - July 23, 2023

Curated by Alma Ruiz

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 24, 2023, 6-8pm

It's Clever, But Is It Art? postcard

Image: IT’S CLEVER,BUT IS IT ART? (Rudyard Kipling), 2023. Sandblast over mirror, 35 ½ x 24 inches.

Glendale Library, Arts & Culture, and ReflectSpace Gallery presented “It's Clever, But Is It Art?” a solo exhibition that showcased several pieces by well-known Mexican artist ERRE (Marcos Ramírez), whose work reflects the sociopolitical issues surrounding the Mexico-US border in various forms, including text-based art. Through works that resemble crossword puzzles and the Snellen Optometry chart, the exhibition explored the impact of written language within the context of a public library. The exhibition included public art in four large-scale eye-chart-like banners featuring quotations from notable writers displayed on the library building's facade. A floor installation referencing the Tower of Babel completed the exhibition, offering insight into the biblical story of a multilingual world. “It's Clever, But Is It Art?”, titled after a quotation by Rudyard Kipling, is curated by Alma Ruiz, former senior curator at MOCA, Los Angeles.

In Central Library’s Passageway Gallery, two accompanying projects were on display: a series of community portraits entitled ‘If You Had A Magic Wand’ was a socially engaged art project by Johnny Pérez, in collaboration with Edison Elementary, and Glendale Central Library. The portraits acted to further validate the students and their wishes for the community. “Letters to Parents,” a postcard project by Kevin Ly invited the public to a writing prompt asking, “what do you wish your parents had told you?”, it was intended to start a conversation and have people interact with not just the exhibit but with each other. All exhibitions were be available from June 3 through July 23, 2023, at Glendale Central Library 222 East Harvard, Glendale, CA. An opening reception was be held on Saturday, June 24, from 6 – 8 pm. ReflectSpace and PassageWay Galleries are curated by Ara and Anahid Oshagan.

About the Artist

Born in Tijuana in 1961, Marcos Ramírez Pimienta (ERRE) moved to the US in 1983. He has been featured in major exhibitions, including inSITE94, inSITE97, Havana Biennials, the 2000 Whitney Biennial, the second Moscow Biennial, the San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial, the 2007 Sao Paolo/Valencia Biennial, the California Biennial 2008, MASS MoCA in Massachusetts and others. ERRE has taught courses at the University of California San Diego’s art school and at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. From 2003 to 2010, he iswas the director/founder of Estación Tijuana.

About the Curator

Alma Ruiz is an independent curator and Senior Fellow at the Center for Business and Management of the Arts at Claremont Graduate University. She is a former senior curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and co-editor and contributor to "A History for the Future: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1979-2000," published in 2022.

ReflectSpace Gallery

Glendale Central Library

222 East Harvard Street

Glendale, CA 91205


Mondays-Thursdays, 9am - 9pm

Fridays & Saturdays, 9am - 6pm

Sunday, 1pm - 6pm


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